Those Who Rise is a blog featuring LVT Rise volunteers and participants, as well as West Fort Worth Center of Hope neighbors. This blog is meant to provide an outlet for the LVT community to share their experiences, thoughts, and needs to those who are willing to listen.
Mrs. Paula is often behind the scenes, working so hard you barely notice she's there. However, when you do notice she's present, you can't forget her! Mrs. Paula is strong, she's a family woman, she loves people at her very core. I was so blessed by the conversation I had with her, and I'm beyond excited to share. Here's some of what we talked about:
Q: How long have you been serving with LVT Rise?
A: For about 6 months. I would come to get stuff and then I just felt like I needed to start helping so I came and started helping. For a while I couldn’t come. . . but as soon as I could come back I did.
Q: Were you originally one of the people that would come in these food lines?
Q: So, how did this help you and your family?
A: It helped me when I didn’t have certain things. I had a grandbaby and an 11-year-old. So, it helped me get some things that we were short on. And I would see my nieces help here, so I thought “well, I can help too!” When I noticed the people I love were comfortable serving, It helped me feel comfortable to helping others myself.
Q: What do you really love about the Las Vegas Trail Community?
A: I don’t technically live in this area, but my nieces do. So, to be able to help with their community was just a blessing. To be able to see the people that need the help are getting the help. We can go that extra mile to put a smile on their face. That’s all the incentive I need.
Q: How would you encourage someone to give who is interested in giving to LVT Rise?
A: I would let them know that the food does not go to waste. People need it at this time. They need it with the virus going on, and even before then. There are families who have children they aren’t able to feed and just the little things that we do give them will actually get them through the next couple of days. We don’t know what their lives are about or what kind of income they get. So, the little something that we do give could really get them through until they’re able to get their check or whatever source of income they are getting. It’s always helpful to have more people donate so we can have more to give to people. Sometimes we are limited on stuff that we do get and that makes us limited in what we can give them. So that means we might have people in line who might not get food because we ran out.
Q: Have you seen that happen?
A: Yes. I have seen it happen. But now, with coronavirus happening, more people are giving. Since more people are giving, we haven’t run out. At least we know people are getting something that will fill their bellies for that day.
Q: What negative stereotypes do you see people giving this community and what would you say to get rid of those stereotypes?
A: Everyone has their ups and downs, their goods and bads and you shouldn’t judge anyone. But you do have some people take advantage of the system. If we could just show that it’s important not to take advantage of the system, then that would be helpful.
Q: what encourages you to keep serving when you see people taking advantage of what you are giving?
A: People still need to eat. Families still need those things and we will never turn them down. No one should ever be turned down for needing something. We try to serve everyone equal. We want to serve anyone as fair as we can. We will never say no to someone in need.
This conversation is chalk full of amazing content. Mrs. Paula really provided me with helpful insight about how LVT Rise helps our neighbors. She also shed light on how to rid ourselves of negatively stereotyping low income communities.
I appreciated her wisdom. Sometimes, it's easy for volunteers to give up because they are discouraged at the people who aren't very nice, or who take advantage. Mrs. Paula is not one of those, rather, she is lifting us all up to continue to serve in the face of hardships.
If you find yourself helping at LVT Rise or WFW Center of Hope, be on the lookout for Mrs. Paula and tell her thank-you, because she is truly one of a kind!
Thank you for reading Those Who Rise. Would you consider donating? Your donation can help several people in our LVT community just like Vera.
Donate by visiting the link below: https://www.wfwcenterofhope.com/donate
Glory to God always, Kaleigh Lilite